Braithwaite was a motorcycle first built in 1906, with limited production continuing until 1914 by the firm H. Braithwaite and Sons of Staveley near Kendal and Lake Windermere.

The brothers Bert and Jack Braithwaite created some thirty bespoke machines using engines designed and built by Bert. These were overhead valve engines and are believed to have been the first of this type, with the design apparently being copied by Norton who built their own OHV machines in 1922.

One or more Braithwaite machines were later fitted with frames from Brough.

Only one complete motorcycle has survived; it is on permanent loan to the Lakeland Motor Museum

Sources:, correspondence

Mon Apr 07 2014
robin at
Braithwaite Motorcycle EC981
Re your entry about the Braithwaite motorcycle (EC 981). The motorcycle actually used a modified Brough frame (not [as previously stated] a Brough engine). The engine was designed and built from scratch in 1911 by Burt Braithwaite. The engine went through a number of revisions. The overhead valve design was largely copied by Norton. The motorcycle still runs and is on long-term loan to the Lakeland motor museum, Cumbria, UK. As an aside, today, I use one of the lathes, that was used to make the engine, to manufacture aircraft parts! Burt Braithwaite was my grandfather.
Robin Braithwaite
EC981 custodian

EC981 was one of around 30 motorcycles made by my grandfather but, as far as I know, it is the only one that has survived. All the motorcycles were different as they were manufactured specifically for the customer. EC981 was originally made in 1912 but it was constantly being developed with better engines and suspension. Some of the earlier engines are on display with the machine. You can find a photo on the internet.


Robin Braithwaite

If you have further information or a query related to Braithwaite motorcycles, please contact us